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Destroying Will952: An AAR

 
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Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/17/2021 7:42:24 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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Ok so I'm on the road but that doesn't mean I cant start my musing now.

You know the drill, same deal as with Ashfall, Will952 cant read my AAR and I cant read his if he makes one.

The plan is: West first

You might be saying "But KZ, you said you hate meta... why are you taking the historical route". It seems that people do Early Serbia-East first these days. The historical route by comparison is now almost exotic. I want to see if I can put my spin on it. I've been thinking on why this path seems less threaded. One of the reason I think it is just hard to do well. Serbia first offers a relatively easy way to open with a commending position. Schlieffen has the potential to go all sorts of wrong. If you're not careful about troop placement you just end up with a big traffic jam. Advance too slow and the French are UK will have established formidable defense before you bite a big chunk off of France.

Ok so for this game I'm going Schliffen-ish rather than pure schliffen. So west first but not a drive to Paris directly, I swing left take out Belgium and hug the coast on the way down until it stalls then make the main effort Italy before going back to wrap up things in France. In the manual it suggest to leave Belgium to a second wave of troop and make the main drive in France... Never felt that worked so well. Go too south and France can dull the spearhead with counter-attacks, costly for both sides but enough to gain enough time to stabilize the situation. If you drive to the sea, you find yourself sandwiched between UK, France and Belgium safely tucked behind the Yser and need lots of troop to cover the wide front. So I practiced on hotseat a lot and found an chess opening to my liking. I cycles three units at 2:1 odds on the brussels corp... with typical luck enough to bring the str 8 corp under 5, removing its ZOC. This allows two cavalry to take hexes west of the Yser river (although one of the two needs to hit a surprise attack to avoid being blocked by a ZOC). With such position, the Belgium situation becomes essentially hopeless and likely means capitulation by turn 2. Then German can follow the coast south. If the brussels corp is a one str... I may decide to slow one of the cavalry to finish it off and sacrifice one Yser tile for Lille instead. Killing that corp turn 1 give a nice morale boost and allows me to store more corps by force marching them so it can be worth it.

In the East I play defense, I will deploy one HQ and one canon and operate one additional corp by selling my airship tech. It will be a waiting game to see if the russian make their move toward Prussia or Galicia (or both!)

Well thats it for now!
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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/17/2021 9:02:19 PM   
AshFall

 

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Interesting plan! It will be a lot of fun to see how it works out! :)


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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/17/2021 9:09:06 PM   
pjg100

 

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Will be interesting to see whether you will be able to withstand the RU juggernaut after it really gets going. I predict much pain for AH.

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/18/2021 12:32:20 AM   
KorutZelva

 

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Well I find all three Entente countries have the potential for trouble... whoever you're not concentering on will grow pretty strong. Russia is really hindered by the fact it supports a low number of artillery. Once the trench gets going they may have a hard time to push. Wont be able to hold on to Lemberg but Ill try to hold the mountain line. Giving a headache to the western ally will also give some breather to the Ottoman. Ill try to fulfill some Caucasian ambitions... get some cavalry march into Persia since it doesnt have an army...

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/19/2021 4:32:29 PM   
Bavre

 

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I would not say that Schlieffen is really weaker than Russia first, the issue is more how you do it and how good your opponent reacts. Btw there already exists an extensive analysis on the Schlieffen opener by Dazo:
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4924764

Imho it is neccessary for Germany to use the "low trench" phase to take a sizeable chunk out of at least one of Russia/France, with a long list of pros and cons for both strategies. The only thing that pretty much guaranties CP defeat is being too passive early on, sitting back and teching just doesn't work vs a good Entente player.

Rushing Serbia however is a different topic. If done well it only requires 3 Corps and one HQ plus selling two techs, which considering its benefits is an absolutely laughable cost. I dare say that nothing CP can do this early anywhere (vs a reasonably experienced Entente player) has even close to the benefit/cost ratio of settling the Balkan theatre in the first few turns plus nothing stops a player from combining it with a Schlieffen. But even that does not make it mandatory, see for example the youtube match between mdsmall (CP) and OldCrow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X85FJk6MLmI&list=PLsv6IgUEHAv-jmKa-o0Nj7pmvHT32A8VI&index=3
It's a modded match but it should work similar in vanilla.

< Message edited by Bavre -- 9/19/2021 4:33:11 PM >

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/19/2021 11:14:53 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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I'll have a look after my game... can let outside influence influence me just now.

So the game is go... Rolls were a bit underwhelming to start. Among bad luck, I lost a Pre-dreadnaught sinking the french dreadnought off the Italian boot.

The goal is to have Amiens to Reims + Nancy in the first phase before the "trenchening" and the Italian pivot. In Serbia, I surround Belgrade and set-up trenches on the high ground.




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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/20/2021 1:11:19 AM   
KorutZelva

 

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It's tempting to put your starting force in the East to balance things and since you have so much hardware in the West. I put the two infantry adjacent to the forest north east of the Epinal and the two cavalry in the north. The cavalry is necessary to occupy strategic hex and clear the way for unit to force march. The infantry in the south gets prepared attack at a favorable rate on the french unit in the forest which allows to peel two french units from the enemy lines while minimizing losses, leaving Nancy dangerously exposed.

< Message edited by KorutZelva -- 9/20/2021 5:27:50 AM >

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/20/2021 2:31:10 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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Belgium surrenders on queue but Will saves some belgium hardware to fight on. I manage to ping one of the Uk corp while its readiness is low which will save me some headache in the following turns. Russians advances in Prussia in the towns left abandoned in favor of better defensive position behind the river. In western poland a snooping cavalry bumps into my defenses and is destroyed in the counter attack. The main Russian push seems to be on Galicia and Austrians brace for impact. Austria face a bloody nose at sea and the UK sinks its dreadnought. More bad news for the Austrian in Serbia where the corp survives at str 1.

Goeben and german subsidies increases Ottoman readiness.




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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/20/2021 4:41:50 PM   
operating


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Do you use HQ manual attach/detach? Then go auto?

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/20/2021 5:22:51 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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I use auto-assist. I usually set it up in the beginning and again before each big offensives. I don't retool it every turn even though I'm sure that's how the pro do it.

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/20/2021 6:40:34 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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goddamit Will, by having your AAR name so close to mine I keep clicking on it by mistake. I don't read it, but can't help catching a glimpse at the top post for a split second.

Belgrade is evacuated, Austrians take it and position themselves to face the Serbian line. Russia attack in the north but with the Belgian surrender their heart is not in it and it takes a million units to take a single one down. In the west the Entente counter-attack and kills 2 cavs and one corp... but the cav were mostly left as bait so that they attract distract them and favor attack rather than entrenchments. The unit taking damage in the offensive and is vulnerable to my own attack since it is not entrenched. Trying the same trick again near Amiens...

I put X on spots I destroyed corps or cavalry




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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/20/2021 10:43:25 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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This was a turn of modest offensive and reffiting in the west. Germany has about 1100 tech spent, UK started invest one chit in diplo somewhere. Bulgaria? Nancy is traded back and forth and France getting short on bodies in the area. The Entente may hold the line at Amiens with imminent UK reinforcements, but I still have my eyes on Boulogne and Reims. The UK units took a fair bit of casualties which is going to take their xp out of the equation. Russian continues its big push toward Lemberg, Austrian run to the mountains before being overwhelmed. Germany plugs a hole in Prussia. Most Russian port are being blockaded by the german navy, one russian destroyer is caught outside port and destroyed.




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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/21/2021 1:45:22 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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Breakthrough at Belfort! German troops lunge and threaten Dijon. Will Epinal be abandonned to shorten the line? Germany almost maxed tech. After that I will have refit troops meant for the Italian campaign to give them time to recuperate their readiness for the spring offensive. Was planning to put my units in production queue in the east to shore up my defense but Prussia is stable and events in France encourage me to strike the iron while its hot.

Austrians lose a corp last turn but Serbs abandoned their position on the hill to do so. Austrians occupy the heights. Carpathian defenses are thin but trench tech is around the corner and hopefully supply should delay the Russian a bit...






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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/21/2021 4:58:06 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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Russia finally makes it move in Prussia and catch the german flatfooted. Konigsberg may have to be sacrificed to hold the line behind the river. France continues its constant counter-attack... surely they will run out of steam soon? Nancy changes hand... but how long can they keep it without Epinal to anchor their line? Next turn major objective is Boulogne. With a front line forming a line Boulogne-Verdun-Epinal-Belfort, Verdun is left dangerously exposed. This will be my upgraded artillery first target. With the mobilization and Hinderburg cost paid... I'll have more funds to finally start rebuilding corps to shore-up my defenses in the East.






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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/21/2021 7:19:45 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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Front congealing in the West. UK moves troops to support Boulogne right flank, so the offensive there is canceled and a siege of the town starts. Next likely target is the Nancy bulge. I'll try to rebuild one corp per turn with Germany to bolster against Prussia. Thorn has fallen but let's make it the last one to do. Norway stops being buddy with Germany. Ottoman joins the war. The main defenses are in the Caucasus: 3 HQs, 2 detachments, 2 Cavalry and 6 Corps. 5 Corps en route to defend Palestine. Advance is slow in Serbia... a ring of detachment is place in front of the serbian line with its corp behind ready for counter-attacks. Troops earmarked for Italian campaign positioned with HQ in support but much refitting is required before they are ready for battle. Only one of the 10 units there is at full strength. Germany all teched up... Austria one or two turns away from max spending.

< Message edited by KorutZelva -- 9/21/2021 8:10:59 PM >

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/22/2021 11:35:33 AM   
KorutZelva

 

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Boulogne falls and the English will have to fall back the river or face the same fate. This shorten my line and will free a few corps for my Verdun offensive. Russia cheekily tried to surround a corp in Allenstein with cavalry but both were his units were destroyed and the corp broke free. Russia commited its mountaineer corp to the Caucasus so the Carpathians defenses are safe. A cavalry is probing for empty german town forcing me to operate a bunch of detachments... Curiosity killed the cat, looking forward killing it later out of supply... the UK placed its big gun on the close blockade... I might be able to swarm and kill a bunch of dreadnaught once the Russia navy is dealt with...




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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/22/2021 4:11:37 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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Quiet turn. UK tries to seize back Boulogne but the German unit holds at str 1. The entrenchment are now facing the right way which should put a stop to further attempts. Worsening weather slows the Russians in Prussia giving me time to prop up the defenses somewhat. On the Italian frontier all the units are refited and put in high supply to prop up their morale ahead of the spring offensive. Egypt defenses look weak... I may test them soon...

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/23/2021 6:41:55 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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Will is missing in action so: Musings

Russia will have to be dealt with in 1915, it's too dangerous to have her so close to my NM cities. I'll try to afford at least one corp per turn to add there until I have enough to push back.

Now I have 10 units ready for the Italian offensive. That's a lot of troop which I hope will be able to get a decisive advance before the UK and French come and stabilize the line. I do wonder if I should have adopted a defensive strategy vs Italy and tried to push with the extra units in France through Dijon. That's more unit that they could have probably dealt with... but at the same time with trench tech up each attack is at parity at best and therefore very expensive.

Speaking of expensive offensives, I'll pause my serbian advance with the Austrians to save money to max artillery.

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/23/2021 7:42:05 PM   
operating


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You have light years more experience than I with SCWWI, but try to hear me out. If I remember correctly Italy enters the war historically sometime around May 25, 1915. Do you see signs that Italy is going to join the war earlier than that? Currently the last screenshot displays December 1914, it seems a waste to me to have units sitting at the ready for who knows how long waiting for the Italian DOW, creating yet another front. I'd almost either plow into Italy now, or treaty with them. Your in an excellent disposition to finish France off (in my view). I'd be a bit leery having too many fronts right now that will hollow out your Western Front (stalemate) to shore up the East from the Russian hordes. Being confident as you are right now could be on the right track, but never under estimate the enemy and the ai weather. I'm sure there are others out there that are strategizing too (it's very interesting), ultimately your the one in charge.

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/23/2021 9:05:23 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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Good questions.

Yes that's about right in terms of timeline... although I'll declare war on them in April before they declare on me. It means it annoys the USA a bit more but I have a turn where the spawned Italian units are at low readiness. :)

The thing is that at the start of the war you don't have much in the way of money. I continued spending to refit troops but only for my immediate needs and with a priority to the lightly damaged one. Anything too beat up (generally units lower than 7) I peeled from the West to go prepare the Italian offensive. were all damaged some pretty badly including two str 1 and one str 2 units. I could have refitted these and sent them to more battles... but then I would have no money for teching. With aggressive tech investment, you can go from the pre-trench phase to the trench phase somewhat seamlessly with the capability to keep going on offensive with upgraded artillery. I'll post some number when I play my next turn but the Entente was very aggressive and spent a lot on refitting unit and they lag in tech research... IIRC even the unmolested Russia lags compared to a poorer power like Austria. A unit that is damaged and force marched a lot will have dismal morale and readiness... I can't just refit them and then expect them to perform well in battle the following turn. So yeah my troops seems idle... but they need the rest. Making morale go from 5% to 80%+ will take 4+ turns.

In terms of front... going for Italy indirectly helps my France front. The UK and France can operate between them with ease, so if I grind troops there it's troops not accumulating for an offensive to push me back. The decision to push in Italy comes down to their units being more brittle for now so their is the potential for quick gains. Italy is the Ottoman of the Entente, low income and low morale. Free of Italian commitment, the goal is for Austria to take care of Serbia with artillery in 1915.

One could argue, but "if you win decisively in 1914 you wouldn't need a tech lead". Fair point! But that's too much of a gamble for me. I keep pushing and Will would keep to his aggressive ways trading units non-stop. Even if I take Paris... it's still not enough to make them surrender and I'll be running low on units to deal with Russia.

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/23/2021 9:43:51 PM   
operating


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When I look at your Belfort breakthrough (which would be a dream to me) I just think it's criminal to not to have more reserves there to wrap up Eastern France in either a pincer movement, or just slug it out. It's beautiful to see an enemies' flank "up in the air", it'd be like Happy Hour at a local bar.

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/23/2021 10:16:54 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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Yeah... that success down south was unexpected! (Forgot to reinforce it? HQ too far to attach?) At the time, I did wish I had some of the troops I had ferried to Italy on hand to exploit it. I guess I could have operated them back but reinforcing them, operating them back it's winter time. Ugh. I did put two newly deployable units in the area to see if I could take advantage of it... but one of the two I had to ferry to the East to deal with the Russian crisis. But in between lunging at Dijon and bagging Epinal, I settled for the later because I need to keep the length of my line under control too. I didn't get Amiens, Reims and Nancy which were my starting goals but getting Belfort, Epinal and Besancon instead might be even better. Just can't do everything I want! With trench 1 active and a river line, you have to budget like 4 corps to take down a single unit, and they might have to stop a turn to refit before attacking again. It's just a terrible grind. German guns will be upgraded and ready by spring... Austrians following in summer. More efficient offensive will be possible.

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/24/2021 12:49:51 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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'WHERE IS TASK FORCE WILL952 THE WORLD WONDERS'

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/24/2021 9:40:59 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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France puts a corp in striking range of Luxemburg forcing me to rejig my lines. Morale goes back up soooooooo slowly... I might have a couple of units that have morale in the 60% range when its go time.






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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/25/2021 7:04:56 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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April 1915

Tech-Diplo breakdown by country

UK: 550-150
France: 800-50
Italy: 60
Serbia: 375
Russia: 1275 (Russia managed to catch up after I made my claim Austria was outspending them... but they only managed to because the Austrians hit their max budget :P)

Germany: 1595
Austria: 1115
Ottoman Empire: 240

Delaying Italy attack due to bad weather. France creeping toward Metz. Russia attack toward Erzurum is foiled when the Ottoman corp holds at str 1. UK making moves in the Sinai. Germany subs sneaking through the blockade in direction to Canada.

< Message edited by KorutZelva -- 9/25/2021 11:23:34 PM >

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/26/2021 10:34:09 AM   
KorutZelva

 

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CP attack into italy is underwhelming... manage to cut the northern town to secondary supplies, so at least there's that?

On more positive news, Verdun falls. This is timely as the French were really stretching the german line. I need to shorten them back. Noose is tigthning around Konigsberg, Russia using its manpower to power through the units defending there... taking huge lost without stopping.




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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/26/2021 1:28:39 PM   
operating


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I'm interested in seeing if you get the best of the French, or if the French get the best of you? Regardless, it's stalemate imo. How many OE units do the OE receive free once they DOW? It looks like you have a lot? Italy looks like it's going to be tough to conquer, will have to wait and see.. Good luck..

Did Italy DOW you, or Did you DOW Italy?

< Message edited by operating -- 9/26/2021 1:30:32 PM >

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/26/2021 1:56:19 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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I struck first vs Italy. With upgraded artillery I'll be able to grind french units every other turn while the French are some times away from having their own. I should be able to contract the Metz bulge. More worried about Russia, I don't think I'll be able to save Konigsberg. With Austria and Germany I maxed tech and artillery... next I max diplo and then I can finally rebuild those corps... For the OE, it's a mix of the starting stuff and the spawned stuff. What they get is scattered all over the place so the starting corps were ferried to the frontier and replaced by detachment. For the most part. I still have a few cities I want to garrison with detachment but I don't have the mpp to do just now.

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/26/2021 6:12:11 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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First battle of Isonzo is over, Germany capture Udine. I lost the corp that was cutting the rail line but it reduced the supply in the area should be able to push and take Padua this summer. An german artillery reveal itself on the eastern front, however the lack of corps limits the size of the offensive in the sector.

I divided up diplo effot, Austria 2 to norway (to try to flip it back to CP), 1 to denmark, 1 to sweden (preventive). Germany chits all went to Amsterdam, to protect its precious 65 mp per turn. Ottoman chits are in reserve if a country start swining towards the entente.

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RE: Destroying Will952: An AAR - 9/26/2021 8:56:26 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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Bad times at sea for the CP. Two destroyer that were trying to sneak the blockade for mine laying were detected off the coast of Norway. In the Adriatic, the austrian fleet has been mostly culled except 3 ships

German takes Padua. One new artillery has been penned to support the offensive there. So far it's 2 arty vs France, 1 vs Russia, 1 vs Italy, 2 vs Serbia. Last Austria arty will either be used in Serbia or Russia. Might be too crowded in Serbia...




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